CLEAR THINKING IS POSSIBLE DURING STRESSFUL EXERCISE
Walker, A. J., Leon, A. S., & Hancock, P. A. (2003). Changes in cognitive performance of soldiers during exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 128.
Military personnel (M = 12; F = 8) were measured for response time to 7 tests of the Automated Neurophysiological Assessment Metric at 30, 60, and 90% VO2max while walking with a 35-lb pack. Heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, and VO2max were evaluated.
Ss reached steady state at each exercise intensity. Changes in various measures were observed while no changes occurred in others. Some capacities increased while others decreased. It was concluded that "soldiers may have the ability to respond to cognitive challenges quickly, even in the face of increasing physiological stress" (p. S25). Mental accuracy showed little change irrespective of short-term workload.
Implication It is possible to learn to think clearly while performing stressful exercise.
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